Daniel Radcliffe was lucky. Although he was told he was stupid at school as per this article in the Guardian he had other opportunities and was in a fairly elitist school anyway. Even so…the article goes on….
…he was unconfident and largely unhappy at school. He went to posh schools, where you were considered a loser if you were no good at sport. He still remembers a teacher at the independent day school for boys that proudly cites him as a star alumnus, telling him he was stupid when he was eight years old, and how devastating he found that. “At the time I just believed him.” His voice rises to a hurt squeak. “I thought, I probably am stupid, but when you grow up, you think that’s outrageous for a teacher to say that to a small child… I was probably just talking to somebody or asking for something. I was a very disorganised, talkative boy. And there are some people who just don’t do well at school. I am not somebody who will learn best when you tell me to sit down and be quiet and sit still. I learn by talking back and engaging in conversation and walking around.”
Is he hyper? “Yes, I think I am quite hyper. I think if I’d been born a few years later, I might have been diagnosed with ADHD, but I missed the boat for all those diagnoses.” If you shut your eyes, you could be listening to a sweet old man looking back on a distant past. “I always feel sorry for people when they say school’s the best days of your life. It really isn’t. If it was, you must have a terrible life.” He coughs like a consumptive. “I never understand that. That was one of the things I loved about Potter initially, it got me out of school.”
But what about all the other kids who don’t get out? All the kids not so lucky as him, who have no film to go to, for whom being told they’re stupid is just as hard but who go on believing it all their school lives and beyond. In the end believing they are too stupid to do anything so they might as well not bother, just go on taking handouts and remain dependent as the government possibly wants them to be so they can be controlled!
Or is that just my cynicism showing? There seem to be quite a lot of examples around!
He is not the only one who learns best engaging in conversation and moving about, among other approaches. Thousands of kids are the same but their needs are generally disregarded within a system designed around children being still and obedient receptacles as if that was the only way to learn – it isn’t! But it is the only way the government can drill large numbers of kids towards test passes, whilst using the fewest amount of teachers they can get away with paying. Test passes winning parents’ votes and conning people into thinking it’s education – it isn’t!
Daniel is so like so many other children who need different approaches in order to fulfil their learning potential. Children who are being ignored. Who can’t all be Harry Potter.
What provision is made for them?